Legislative Milestones for Railroad Retirement Board
Now more than ever, it is crucial that we continue to stay on top of new legislative milestones for railroad retirement to preserve and protect our retirement.
N.A.R.V.R.E. needs its members also to keep abreast of the news and contact their members of Congress when our pensions come under threat. We have been doing this excellent work for over 80 years and plan to continue the work far into the future. To see the ways N.A.R.V.R.E. has worked for its members over the years, we have compiled a list of significant milestones that have occurred since pensions were first introduced. We hope this list gives insight into the work we do and the importance of being a member of N.A.R.V.R.E.
1874 – Private pensions are first introduced for Grand Trunk Railroad
1932 – Senator Wagner introduces the Wagner-Hatfield Bill. The bill created a retirement system that included all railroad employees. By using 2-5% of all employee earnings, the bill set up the opportunity for older employees with 30years of service the chance to voluntarily retire at age 65. The bill proved to be beneficial for the nation currently facing the Great Depression. To get the President to approve the act, Senator Wagner cited the following benefits:
- Provided an opportunity to test Social Security
- Overwhelming Public Interest
1934 – Railroad Retirement Board established
1935 – Railroad Retirement Act enacted
1936 – Revised Railroad Retirement Bill passed.
1937 National Association of Retired and Veteran Railroad Employee’s or N.A.R.V.R.E. is established/ A new bill is signed installing the Railroad Retirement System and leading to the Carriers Taxing Act
1938 – Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act is brought to Congress
1942 – Railroad Retirement Board moves from Washington D.C. to the Railroad crossing of the nation, Chicago, Illinois.
1946 – Amendments made to the Railroad Unemployment Act raised the daily benefit rate, extended unemployment benefits to 15-year service.
1951 – Amendments enacted to add survivor and spouse benefits.
1965 – Financial Interchange was created, serving as an operating vehicle through which Medicare programs were extended.
1974 Revised Railroad Retirement Act of 1974 (defeated President’s veto.)
1975 – Amendment to act liberalized basic eligibility requirements for new employees by lowering seven-month base requirement to 5 months. Mandated seven days waiting period for benefit payments resulting from a strike.
1983 – Railroad Retirement Solvency Act enacted, increasing payroll taxes on employers and employees, deferring cost-of-living increases, reducing early retirement benefits, made 2 tier benefits, and vested dual benefit payments subject to Federal income taxes. / Government tried to cut pensions by 40% N.A.R.V.R.E. fought and won to keep pensions intact.
1988 – Retirement Improvement Act, considered one of the most significant railroad unemployment insurance legislation in decades. Liberalized work restrictions and credited military service and provided more equitable separation or severance pay treatment for railroad retirement purposes. /Congress requires R.R.B. to make annual financial reports.
1993 – $180 million loan paid in full entirely from Railroad Retirement Unemployment Insurance Account.
1996 – Legislation enacted to increase Railroad unemployment and sickness insurance daily benefit rate/Revised formula for indexing future benefit rate.
2001 – Railroad Retirement and Survivors Act was passed to make improvements for spouses so that retirement would no longer be drastically cut if employee/retired employee passes away.
2010 – Celebration of the 75th anniversary of the enactment of the Railroad Retirement Act.
2021 – Congress passes the American Rescue Act, N.A.R.V.R.E. fights successfully for funding from the act.
It has been a busy 84 years for our organization. We are proud to have served our railroad community many times over these years. And as always will continue to carry out our mission. Our sole mission is to protect, promote, and preserve your railroad retirement benefits. If you are not yet a member, we encourage you to become one.
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